Baker Announces COVID-19 Funding for Special Education Programs
Governor Charlie Baker
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration announced $16.1 million in relief for 32 special education residential school providers to support costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, special education residential schools remained open to support their students with unique challenges. Schools incurred unanticipated costs related to the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), infection control measures, increased staffing costs and enhanced cleaning protocols.
The funding announced today is in addition to $3 million in funding the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) provided in April to support the residential education school system. Together, this $19 million acknowledges the efforts of these schools to remain open on a 24/7 basis throughout the pandemic and the measures they implemented to keep their doors open and their youth and staff safe.
Earlier in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services implemented $139 million in increased funding through its existing system for residential and congregate care services providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were used for increased staffing, enhanced infection control procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Due to the structure of the special education residential schools, they were not eligible for this earlier rate increase, but today’s announcement will bring them in line with the previous rate increases provided to other residential and congregate care providers.
To support Special Education programs, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has released Comprehensive Special Education Guidance for the 2020-21 School Year. The Initial Fall Reopening Guidance asks schools and districts to prioritize and begin planning for in-person instruction, while simultaneously preparing blueprints for both remote learning and a hybrid school model (a combination of in-person and remote learning), should local conditions change this school year. This document complements the Initial Fall Reopening Guidance by providing further information on supporting students with disabilities during the upcoming school year. It also provides necessary information in support of schools and districts, as they develop the portion of their reopening plans specifically related to special education. Earlier, DESE released its extended school year guidance to allow for special education day programs to open last week.
The total relief funding by provider is below:
Boston Higashi School, Inc.
Brandon Residential Treatment Center, Inc.
Cardinal Cushing Centers Inc.
Chamberlain International School
Crystal Springs, Inc
Doctor Franklin Perkins School
Evergreen Center Inc.
Fall River Deaconess Home
Hillcrest Educational Center Inc.
Italian Home for Children
Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, Inc.
Latham Centers, Inc.
League School of Boston Inc.
MAB Community Services
Melmark New England, Melmark Inc.
New England Center for Children
Perkins School for the Blind
St. Ann's Home, Inc
Stetson School, Inc.
The Guild for Human Services, Inc.
The Home for Little Wanderers
The Learning Center For The Deaf, Inc.
The May Institute, Inc.
Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Inc.
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